The Best of Cher is in my Jeep CD player right now and I Got You Babe is playing on repeat. Normally, I don’t listen to the same song over and over again – I mean, aside from Middle School when I jumped on the My Heart Will Go On bandwagon…and this phrase I went through with the Counting Crows when I was nursing my first real heartbreak in college…..but I think those points are outliers…really… I Got You Babe is different, I could listen to it every day – it makes me happy – it’s a happy song – so what if it takes me to a certain goodbye party at my favorite little bar in Astoria, Oregon that poured strong drinks, hosted weekly karaoke and started serving breakfast at last call? That was a fun night!
I was saying goodbye to a friend I had known and crushed on for nearly two years, which just means that, as a friend, I felt emotionally closer to him than I felt to my less-attractive male friends after two years. Unfortunately, at the time, I was with The Ex, so I had to duck out of the sloppy goodbye kiss from my Cute Friend. He felt bad when I adeptly dodged the kiss and hugged him; I felt classy.
My Cute Friend and I had just sung a rousing rendition of I Got You Babe – even though he didn’t know any of the words. It’s a fun song and we belted our hearts out – gloriously off key. It’s one of my all-time favorite karaoke performances, and believe me, there have been a few. Something about the song makes you feel like you are channeling Sonny and Cher’s friendship at the peak of their marriage. I left feeling very close to my Cute Friend, even though he was moving far away.
We kept in touch sporadically over the course of the next year – I was faithfully devoted to The Ex, after all, and I am not one to line up my next love interest while with my current one. I told you I was classy. However, after I got dumped, it was game on. My Cute Friend and I kept talking, but more often, and flirting, but with intention!
This was the point in my life when I realized that a heartbroken girl in a man’s world is like an injured seal pup in a sea of great white sharks – men sense heartbreak like sharks sense blood – accurately and from miles away.
The first shark to start circling me was able to get what he was looking for without much of a fight on my part – I made him spend an afternoon hanging out with me and quizzed him on a few crucial topics (favorite food, favorite color, biggest fear, medical history) before I decided he was good rebound material. I decided wrong – he was a really bad rebound, the kind that looks promising – like a rebound that isn’t really a rebound because he’s pretty much a friend, that could be a great friend, maybe even your future best friend – and then, without warning, just stops calling. Shark.
After that, I played it smarter – I only swam into one more Shark – an Austrailian shark. Silly Auzzie, I was able to out-maneuver him before any emotional damage was done.
Then, came a creature for which I wasn’t prepared…
*key ominous theme music*
Enter Killer Whales, stage left.
My Cute Friend came into the picture as a Killer Whale. Like a Shark, he could sense the heartbroken vulnerability that seemed to exude from my pores. Unlike a shark, he didn’t want to go in for the kill – just toss me around and play a bit. At first, the game seemed fun; so much fun that I invited him to be my date at a wedding. He humored me, for a few weeks and v-e-r-y…s-l-o-w-l-y…s-t-o-p-p-e-d
Then, I realized that this game was only going to hurt – unfortunately, I realized that about the same time that my Cute Friend stopped calling (hm – common theme?) Game over.
I’m not going to lie – it made me mad. So mad, in fact, that I forever deleted his number from my phone so that I could never accidently call him when I was lonely or pathetic or otherwise acting like a seal. He can see me on Facebook or this blog – where I play it cool. So freaking cool, huh?
Now, I like to think of myself as an inconspicuous sea turtle – not fast enough to run away from sharks, but with a hard shell to protect me from them and not invisible to playful Killer Whales, but far too boring and difficult to be of interest to them. My injured seal pup days are over.
Live and Learn, right?